Reggae’s secret Weapon will be exposed Saturday when it shares the stage with a musical icon.
A 3-year-old band from South Lake Tahoe, Weapon, because of its clangorous handle, is sometimes is thought to be a metal band.
“We use love as a weapon,” said bassist Todd Christensen. “Music is our weapon. It is a strong name. We are more alternative, a little heavier, faster than (a typical reggae band).”
Christensen and guitarist Billy Blurton played in a southern rock band when they had an epiphany (or maybe call it an “irie” irradiation) when they witnessed a Jon Wayne and the Pain show at MontBleu. Stop that train, Peter Tosh needs to board. They started a reggae band.
Weapon has 90 minutes of original songs but also covers the vanguards of California reggae: Sublime, Pepper, the Expendables, Rebelution.
Christensen, who has played guitar 14 years, said he didn’t like playing bass with a rock band but loves it with reggae. “You can be as creative as can be with it,” he said.
The band’s ultimate topping came with Basecamp Pizza, whose owner hired him before suggesting Casey Smith might like to join the fun.
“I got a new job and a new drummer in an hour,” Christensen said. “He has made the band what it should be. He’s got the reggae feel and vibe and makes everything (danceable ) and groovy.”
Banton, of course, is one of the greatest reggae artists to come out of Britain. He has tirelessly promoted peace and positivity, roots rock with a spiritual bent. He has been on the international scene since the
1980s, and he wrote on his website his career is winding down.
“As I approach the final chapter of my musical journey on Planet Earth (Urantia),” he wrote, “my only desire is to serve Divinity through Humanity. And to all my brothers and sisters who are striving to achieve their goals in this age of materiality and secularistic insanity, my message is PLEASE REMEMBER to Stay Positive & Never Give In!”
Christensen is humbled to be sharing the bill with Banton on Saturday.
“I love his conscious reggae,” he said. “He’s probably, in my eyes, the pioneer in taking reggae and making it a little more alternative, helping create the genre reggae rock.”
When: 10 p.m. Saturday, March 22
Where: Whiskey Dick’s Saloon, South Lake Tahoe
Tickets: $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the show
Must be: at least 21 years old
Weapon recently added drummer Casey Smith